It’s that time of year again! Everyone’s starting to get together, heading home and visiting relatives for some good old-fashioned pumpkin pie ad a finely roasted turkey dinner. While this is definitely an event to look forward to, it can also present a unique challenge when it comes to conversation. At some point during dinner, someone is going to ask you about what you do in digital marketing, how your small business is doing online or something else that, honestly, is pretty hard to explain in layman’s terms. While Entepreneur.com states that you personally need to have a deep understanding of inbound marketing in order to succeed in today’s business world, you don’t want to bore your relatives to death with buzzwords and complex industry-specific explanations.
Inbound marketing is a many splendored thing; when it comes to making a name for yourself online, it’s your bread and butter. But how are you supposed to explain it to that one relative who thinks that Yahoo is a web browser and is 100 percent convinced that antivirus software will give their computer digital autism? (Don’t try to explain how that doesn’t exist, it’s not worth it.)
There are a couple ways to explain it, actually, but Thanksgiving dinner offers the unique opportunity to whip out the turkey analogy.
You’ll have to take a minute to explain a few key terms before you can launch into your explanation, particularly the following:
- Lead. According to Business Dictionary, the simplest way to define a lead is just three words: a prospective customer. If your relatives are interested in how you get leads, you can go into that later.
- Nurturing. While Mom or Grandma may assume they know a thing or two about nurturing (and they probably do), make sure they know that in this context, this is the process of helping a lead to be ready to talk to someone in sales.
- Flow. Your relatives just need to know that this is the process by which your business runs. Leads turn into sales, which can turn into repeat customers and offer word of mouth advertisement, which in turn helps create more leads. This is integral to keeping your business running smoothly.
Now it’s time for the analogy! Once everyone explains a these three terms, grab a turkey leg off the bird in the middle of the table and explain that a lead is like a turkey. Being part of an inbound marketing sales team is like being given a turkey every time someone is interested in the product or service a business offers; if you’re in charge, it’s like being the guy who brings in the turkeys.
The thing about turkey, though, is that it has to be carefully cooked at a specific temperature for a specific amount of time before it can be eaten; leads are a lot like this. Sending a lead to your sales team that hasn’t been properly nurtured is like dropping off a raw turkey: inedible, to put it lightly. Likewise, sending a lead that’s been pressured into talking to the sales team is like sending in a turkey that’s been cooked incorrectly: this will send everyone home sick or upset.
A properly nurtured lead is like the roasted turkey your parents, relatives, or you yourself carved up for Thanksgiving dinner. Treat it right and not only will every go home well-fed and happy, you’ll have leftovers (repeat customers, word of mouth referrals and more) for weeks to come.
Have a great holiday and, this time, be thankful when someone asks what you do!